Coffee Cakes with Almond Streusel


Is it spring yet? Sure doesn't feel like it. I mean, yeah, everything on Pinterest is "Grow your own garden!" and "Spring cleaning tips!" and "Strawberries and rhubarb and asparagus and peas!". And I'm just sitting here in rainy Vancouver with no rhubarb or strawberries or asparagus or peas. And it's cold.


I can't really complain that much because, really, Vancouver always has mild winters (as I've mentioned before). It doesn't get that cold. When I say it's cold, I mean it's about 4 or 5 degrees out. And then I think about my mom in Calgary where it was -12 last week. Why people live in places that are that cold in March, I do not know.

Despite what the calendar and pinterest says, it still kinda feels like winter and I'm okay with that. 'Cause that means a big ole hearty wintery beefy stew at my dad's place tomorrow night and I get to make pie and ice cream. With blueberries and rhubarb that I froze last summer. Not too shabby.





Coffee Cakes with Almond Streusel

Almond Streusel
60 g all-purpose flour
60 g almond meal
60 g granulated sugar
0.3 g (1/8 teaspoon) salt
60 g unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/4-inch dice

Coffee Cake
203 g all-purpose flour
5.5 g (1 1/8 teaspoon) baking powder
1.7 g (3/8 teaspoon) baking soda
1.7 g (1/2 teaspoon) salt
75 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
210 g granulated sugar
75 g eggs
20 g vanilla paste
225 g creme fraiche or sour cream

Middle Layer
15 g unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder
15 g light brown sugar


For the streusel, combine the flour, almond meal, salt, and sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the cold butter and toss to coat the pieces. Work the mixture with your fingertips, breaking the butter into pieces no larger than 1/8 inch and combining it with the flour mixture. Do not overwork the mixture or allow the butter to become soft; if it does, place the bowl in the refrigerator to harder the butter before continuing. 

Transfer the streusel to a covered container or resealable bag. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days, or freeze up to 1 months.

For the coffee cakes, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn to medium-low speed and cream the butter until it has the consistency of mayonnaise and holds a peak when the paddle is lifted. Add the sugar and mix on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mixture is fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the eggs and the vanilla paste and mix for 15 to 30 seconds on low speed, until just combined. 

Add the flour mixture and the creme fraiche or sour cream alternatively in the following amounts, beating on low speed for about 15 seconds after each addition: one-third of the flour mixture, one-third of the creme fraiche, one-third of the flour mixture,the remaining flour, and the remaining creme fraiche. Cover the batter and refrigerate for 20 minutes, until firm.

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Ideally, you would need 4 1/2 inch round paper baking molds or 4 1/2 inch springform pans, but not everyone has that. I baked mine in regular muffin tins and they worked fine.

Whisk together the brown sugar and cocoa powder to break up any lumps. 

Transfer the coffee cake batter to a pastry bag and pipe a 1/4 inch deep spiral (60 g) in the bottom of each mold. Dust the top with 5 g/ 2 teaspoons of the cocoa mixture. Pipe a second spiral of batter over the cocoa, stopping at least 1/4 inch from the top of the hold. Sprinkle the tops with streusel: 30 g/3 tablespoons each. The cakes can be refrigerated at this point for up to 3 days.

Bake for 35 t0 40 minutes, or until the tops are golden browl and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Set the sheet pans on a cooling rack and cool completely.

Just before serving, lightly dust the tops with icing sugar, then with cocoa powder and cinnamon.




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